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Pharma among top 5 sectors most affected by counterfeiting: ASPA report

ASPA unveil the report – The State of Counterfeiting in India 2021 as part of its weekly awareness campaign and to mark ‘World Anti-Counterfeiting Day’ on June 8

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Observing the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on June 8, 2021, the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), a self-regulated industry body of Anti-Counterfeiting and Traceability Solutions providers unveiled the latest edition of its report “The State of Counterfeiting in India – 2021”.

The report studies and highlights the trends of counterfeiting incidents reported in India for the period January 2018 to December 2020, providing special insight on 2020 incidents. According to the report, counterfeiting incidents have risen rapidly /steadily in the last few years. On average the increase in counterfeiting incidents being reported in the last 3 years has been 20 per cent (from January 2018 to December 2020). In 2020 these reported incidents have increased by 17 per cent as compared to 2019.

The report highlights, “While counterfeiting is a global menace and no economy in the world has remained unaffected by this menace, the latest trends are alarming for the lives of citizens and the Indian economy. Globally, it now stands at 3.3 per cent of global trade (according to OECD report) and is impacting the social and economic development of countries.”

Some of the key findings of the report are as follows:

  • The number of counterfeit incidents in India increased by an average 20 per cent year to year growth between 2018 to 2020, 17 per cent between 2019 to 2020.
  • The top 5 sectors which have been affected the most are Alcohol, Tobacco, FMCG Packaged Goods, Currency & Pharmaceuticals. Incidents reported in these sectors constitute more than 84 per cent of a total counterfeit incident reported. There was a sharp spike in crimes related to illicit liquor, smuggling of tobacco products and pharma products especially PPE kits and sanitisers, etc during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • States including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Odisha are amongst the top ten States which need urgent attention in respect to counterfeit incidents requiring more detailed analysis of the issue followed by stringent anti-counterfeiting policy mechanisms and implementations.
  • Common day to day items including cumin seeds, mustard cooking oil, ghee, hair oil, soaps, baby care and medicine are increasingly reported counterfeited by criminals.

Nakul Pasricha, President, ASPA, said, “Businesses are being attacked more often and on a larger scale by counterfeiters and frauds especially due to the high demands that have been created due to the COVID crisis. A big challenge is that counterfeiters are becoming smarter, better funded, and organized. In this scenario, the onus on all impacted parties to stay ahead of them is even more critical. The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed India’s healthcare systems and delay in dealing with the issue might prolong our battle against COVID-19. Substandard, spurious, falsely labelled, falsified, and counterfeit products and illicit trade would further slow down the Indian economy recovery and efforts towards breaking the chain of infection. Counterfeiters are taking advantage of the biggest humanitarian crisis that the world has ever seen. The trends we observe are alarming and call for immediate action.”

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